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How we Work

Across Africa, Asia and the Pacific, TEAR Australia enables people to overcome poverty by equipping them to lead their own development initiatives. We do this in partnership with local Christian development organisations, supporting them as they walk alongside the poorest and most marginalised people in their communities.

By working in partnership, TEAR Australia is a catalyst for extraordinary change.

Through one partner in Kabul, we enable women fleeing violence to earn a living; in Burma, we can save the lives of infants through improved nutrition and health care; in Ethiopia we are mobilising communities to improve their water supply and get their children into school. Our partners are the ‘hands and feet’ of our work - Christians who are responding to the needs of their poor in their own context. As local people, they are also in the position to address the injustices (such as racial, religious or disability discrimination, gender inequality, and corruption) that cause poverty.

  • We work in partnership with local Christian development organisations because we believe that local people best understand the needs of their communities and can develop authentic long-term relationships, resulting in projects that are both relevant and sustainable. Read more: How TEAR works in partnership.
  • We support community-led development initiatives because we believe that when community members participate at every level of project implementation, this results in transformation that can be sustained long after the project draws to a close.
  • We support holistic development initiatives, because we recognise that needs are complex and interrelated. For example, improving water supply can lead to improved health and food supply, or, addressing gender inequality through community strengthening can encourage girls to go to school and improve education.
  • Most of all we passionately believe that good development works – that with the right approach people can experience lasting transformation and the fullness of life that God intended.
Tear Development That Works

Development that Works

TEAR's Development that Works resource explores more of the current thinking about good development practice from a biblical perspective and from the point of view of TEAR’s partners and those with whom they work.

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Our projects facilitate literacy and numeracy classes for children and adults, pre-school classes for early learning development, and vocational skills training - enabling families to break the cycle of poverty. From reading the bus numbers to starting a small business, education is the key to better health, work opportunities, and stronger communities.

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These classes go way beyond letters and numbers - they are the beginnings of social and economic transformation.

Sector Health 1


Preventing illness and disease to enjoy better wellbeing.

Our projects focus on education for illness and disease prevention, ante and postnatal care for women, training for health volunteers in remote locations, and sanitation education - simple measures that are essential for saving lives and improving health. These health initiatives enable families and communities to address the illnesses that set children back from attending school, prevent parents from working, and older people from enjoying long life.

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Sector Safe Water 4

Water and Sanitation

Building the infrastructure for clean, reliable water supply. Our partners assist communities to install wells, pipes, pumps, taps, toilets and filtration units - appropriate systems for local circumstances. Each program also has an education component, enabling the whole community to maintain the system and improve health through sanitation.

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When the burden of water collection and poor sanitation is taken away from women the benefits are extraordinary; clean water and adequate sanitation means freedom for women.

Food and Livelihoods


Investing in the farmers of the future. Our partners use low-cost and low-technology methods to enable families to grow enough food for a healthy lifestyle. They teach organic farming methods for tiny plots of land, climate change adaptation for farmers, animal husbandry techniques for people with disability, and co-operative farm management for villagers to work together. This agriculture training is as much about putting food on the table as it is about earning a living, these programs fill bellies and wallets.


Investing in skills that become livelihoods. Our partners equip adults with the skills they need to start their own businesses, find meaningful employment, or support their families by reducing household costs. Typically, the classes are run locally and include more than just training - they’re a way for people to connect and address other injustices, like gender and discrimination. Given opportunities to achieve, this training becomes the turning point to create a new future.

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Livelihoods and Food Security - Impact Report
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Sector Community 2

Community Building

Collective action is a powerful change-agent. Our partners support the formation of effective village councils, encourage female leadership, and train community mobilisers to empower communities to solve their own development problems and address the effects of injustice. Strong communities plan and implement programs for the wellbeing of all and connect with the broader society for collective wellbeing.

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Sector Emergencies East Africa 1
In response severe food shortage and drought affecting several countries in east Africa in 2016, TEAR helped fund the delivery of emergency health and nutrition aid for vulnerable children and families.

Emergency Relief

Assistance when disaster strikes, and support during reconstruction. Before a disaster, our partners work to develop the capacity of vulnerable communities to withstand the damaging effects of regular floods and cyclones through disaster mitigation programs. In the aftermath of disaster, our partners also provide emergency relief when needed. Whether it’s tarpaulins and emergency food, an employment program six months after a disaster, or a new community hall, TEAR’s partners support communities through the worst.

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Tear Reconciliation Action Kit

Australia's First Peoples

Celebrating Culture
Amplifying Voices
Seeking Healing

TEAR’s work with the First Peoples of Australia provides support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who are working to achieve their potential and gain greater control over their own affairs. We also seek ways to mobilise Australian Christians and the wider community to work towards a more just and equitable society.

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